chapter  13
Some Reflections on Violence, Reconciliation, and the “Feudal Revolution”
ByFredric L. Cheyette
Pages 22

For the social and political history of the tenth and eleventh centuries in France, the Maconnais created what we may call the "standard model". Violence and the social means by which it was controlled, if not a major topic in the pages Georges Duby devoted to the tenth and eleventh centuries, figure prominently among the assumptions that guide his argument. It is a commonplace to recognize that the concept of 'feudalism,' if not the word itself, gradually emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and was given a major impulse in the writings of eighteenth-century lawyers. The particular form that has so long afflicted historical studies is the child of the intellectual and particularly the scientific world of the nineteenth century. For nineteenth-century historians and sociologists, biology was the scientific model to follow: to be scientific one had to define the species of social organisms and eventually trace the succession or transformations through which one turned into another.